John Walsh's picture
Chief Scientist
jwalsh [at]

Dr. Walsh has been central to IARC’s success and public profile, leading many of the organization’s strongest research and outreach efforts. In addition to extensive publications, he is the co-author of the textbook Severe and Hazardous Weather.

His research has long focused on Arctic sea ice, and he has recently worked to establish a long-term sea ice database for use in a formal, searchable Sea Ice Atlas interface. The research group for this project has established a common-format background for sea ice levels back to the 1850s, and has examined the ability of models to simulate changes such as the recent rapid loss of summer sea ice.

The official assessment efforts to which he contributes serve to evaluate, integrate, and communicate recent science research, primarily for public leaders and decision makers. He aims to provide a balanced perspective on Alaska’s recent changes in the face of both growing interest and comparatively sparse data resources in the region. In these assessments, Walsh and others have synthesized information about changes in growing season length, temperatures, and extreme events—all integral to the understanding of climate change in the Arctic.

Dr. Walsh has also served as a contributor on the subject of ongoing Arctic changes to a number of official reports, including the 2013 US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) National Climate Assessment (NCA), for which he was a Convening Lead Author in Climate Change Science.


Box, J., Colgan, W., Brown, R., Wang, M., Overland, J., Walsh, J., Bhatt, U.; Christensen, T., Schmidt, N., Lund, M., Parmentier, F.-J., Euskirchen, E., Romanovsky, V., Corell, R., Meier, W., Wouters, B., Mernild, S., Mård, J., Pawlak, J., and Andersen, M. 2019. Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971-2017. Environmental Research Letters. 10.1088/1748-9326/aafc1b.
Lader, R., J. E. Walsh, U. S. Bhatt, and P. A. Bieniek. 2019. Anticipated changes to the snow season in Alaska: Elevation dependency, timing and extremes.. International Journal of Climatology. 10.1002/joc.6201.
Bieniek, P., Bhatt, U.S., Walsh, J.E., Lader, R., Griffith, B. Roach, J. K., Thoman R. L. 2018. Full Access Assessment of Alaska rain-on-snow events using dynamical downscaling. American Meteorological Society.
Bieniek, P., Bhatt, U., Walsh, J., Lader, R., Griffith B., Roach, J., Thoman, R. 2018. Assessment of Alaska Rain-on-Snow Events Using Dynamical Downscaling. American Meteorological Society. 57. 1847-1863. .
Bieniek, P., Bhatt, U., Walsh, J., Lader, R., Griffith B., Roach, J., and Thoman, R. 2018. Assessment of Alaska Rain-on-Snow Events Using Dynamical Downscaling. American Meteorological Society. 10.1175/JAMC-D-17-0276.1.
Fischer, R., Walsh, J.E., Euskirchen, E.S. and Bieniek, P.A. 2018. Regional Climate Model Simulation of Surface Moisture Flux Variations in Northern Terrestrial Regions. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences. 8. 29-54.
Walsh, J.E., Bhatt, U.S., Littell, J., Leonawicz, M., Lindgren, M., Bieniek, P.A. 2018. Downscaling of climate model output for Alaskan stakeholders. Environmental Modelling and Software. 10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.03.021.
Bieniek, P. A., and Walsh, J. E. 2017. Atmospheric circulation patterns associated with monthly and daily temperature and precipitation extremes in Alaska. International Journal of Climatology. doi:10.1002/joc.4994.
Lader, R., Walsh, J. E., Bhatt, U.S., and Bieniek, P. A. 2017. Projections of Twenty-First-Century Climate Extremes for Alaska via Dynamical Downscaling and Quantile Mapping. American Meteorological Society. 56. 2393-2409.
Bieniek, P.A., Bhatt, U.S., Walsh, J.E., Rupp, T.S., Zhang, J., Krieger, J.R., and Lader, R.T. 2016. Dynamical downscaling of ERA-Interim temperature and precipitation for Alaska. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 7. 245-259. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0153.1.
Lader, R., U.S. Bhatt, J.E. Walsh, T. S. Rupp, P.A. Bieniek 2016. Two-Meter Temperature and Precipitation from Atmospheric Reanalysis Evaluated for Alaska. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. 55(4). 901-922. doi: 10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0162.1.
Overland, J.,E. Hanna, I. Hanssen-Bauer, S.-J. Kim, J. Walsh, M. Wang, U. S. Bhatt, and R. L. Thoman 2016. Air temperature [in “State of the Climate in 2015”]. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 97(8). S132-S134.
Bennett, K. E. and J. E. Walsh 2014. Spatial and temporal changes in indices of extreme precipitation and temperature for Alaska . International Journal of Climatology.
Bieniek, P., J. E. Walsh, R. L. Thoman, U. S. and Bhatt 2014. Using climate divisions to analyze variations and trends in Alaska temperature and precipitation. Journal of Climate.
Jafarov, E.E., D.J. Nicolsky, V.E. Romanovsky, J.E. Walsh, S.K. Panda, and M.C. Serreze 2014. The effect of snow: How to better model ground surface temperatures. Cold Regions Science and Technology. 102. 63-77. doi:10.1016/j.coldregions.2014.02.007.
McAfee, SA, Walsh, J, and Rupp, TS. 2014. Statistically downscaled projections of snow/rain partitioning for Alaska . Hydrological Processes. 28(12). 3930-3946. doi: 10.1002/hyp.9934 .
Polyakov, I.V., U.S. Bhatt, J.E. Walsh, E.P. Abrahamsen, A.V. Pnyushkov, and P.F. Wassmann 2013. Recent oceanic changes in the Arctic in the context of longer term observations . Ecological Applications. 23(8). 1745-1764. doi:
Rogers, T.S., J.E. Walsh, T.S. Rupp, L.W. Brigham, and M. Sfraga 2013. Future Arctic marine access: analysis and evaluation of observations, models, and projections of sea ice . The Cryosphere. 7(1). 321-332. doi:10.5194/tc-7-321-2013 #sthash.gSz5VNtH.dpuf.